It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
ANT 236 Ethnographic Research Methods in Anthropology: Evaluating Sources
Library and other resources for Professor Shively's ANT 236 class
A guide with techniques that help you quickly find what you need to know about web pages and train your mind to think critically, even suspiciously, by asking a series of questions that will help you decide how much a web page is to be trusted.
This brief tutorial highlights criteria for evaluating sources and sites on the Internet and Web, and provides example sites for you to apply what you have learned. (Takes about 20 minutes to complete.)
A site created by a reference librarian at Ithica College.
Evaluating Online Information
Finding and Evaluating Web Sites
The amount of information available on the WWW is immeasurable.Unfortunately much of this information has not been reviewed for authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, nor completeness.The burden of evaluation falls on you, the reader.
Is it clear who is responsible for the Web page?
Is it clear who wrote the material?Are their credentials clearly stated?
If the material is copyrighted, is the name of the copyright holder given?
Are the sources for any factual information clearly listed so that verification is possible?
Is the information clear of blatant grammatical, spelling and/or other typographical errors?
If there are graphs or charts, are they clearly labeled?Is source information given?
What is the purpose of providing the information?Public service, education, profit, or persuasion?
Is the information free of advertising?
If there is advertising is it clearly differentiated from the informational content?
Are there dates on the page indicating when it was written or last revised?
Are there indications that the material is kept current?
(These criteria based on checklists in the book Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web by Jan Alexander and Marsha Ann Tate)
Scholarly vs. Popular Articles
Scholarly journals are written by experts in their fields for students and researchers. Most are peer-reviewed.
Popularmagazines and newspapers are written by journalists or others for general readers.